This workshop covers the history, technical design, use of and aesthetics of working with soft focus lenses, from the earliest view camera lenses to the modern digital soft focus lenses. The workshop is open to all photographers, whether using digital, roll film or sheet film. This is an intermediate level class and familiarity with manual operation of your camera and a basic knowledge of composition and design encouraged to get the most from the workshop.
Class time is used to learn about the evolution of soft focus lenses, lens designs and to become familiar with outstanding examples of historical and contemporary photographs. A number of lenses, historical and new, will be made available for use with your cameras. You have the opportunity to contrast and compare these lenses, evaluating which lens choices to make for your own camera and style of work. There is time for critiques of student work throughout the week.
In recent years soft focus work has undergone a revival from both an historic and aesthetic point-of-view. A century ago there were many different types of soft focus lenses on the market, each with a different formula for creating just the right amount of softness. Today, modern soft focus lenses are being made for cameras as diverse as the Diana camera, digital cameras (Canon’s excellent soft focus lens to the series of Lensbaby lenses) as well as a soft focus lens app for your cell phone. Developing mastery with these unique lenses requires learning the subtleties of each one and making use of these differences to bring a particular look and feel to your own images.
Students may work in digital or B&W film.
Russ Young is an authority on the Pictorialist photographic movement. His thesis The Soft Focus Lens and Anglo-American Pictorialism is the definitive study of both the technical development of these lenses and their early use. Tillman Crane brings years of personal experience working with these lenses. Join us for this outstanding opportunity to learn about and bring a new look to your photographs using soft focus lenses.